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Terms & Conditions of Retainer

The following sets out our Terms and Conditions of trade, which you should read if you instruct us to act for you. It contains useful information about how we conduct business and what we expect from our clients.

Terms & Conditions

1. Instructions

We will only act on your client instructions. Where instructions cannot be reasonably obtained from you we will stop work until clear instructions are received.

By instructing us you accept liability to pay our account for our professional services that we may render in respect of such instructions.

If you instruct us on behalf of someone else you are liable to pay our account unless other arrangements have been agreed in writing. If you are instructing us as a director or officer of a company or as a trustee, then you are personally liable for our account in the event of the company or trust failing to pay.

2. How We Charge

Unless otherwise agreed our fee is based on our hourly rates which may be adjusted by factors including urgency and difficulty in accordance with New Zealand Law Society costing criteria. The fees which we will charge or the manner in which they will be arrived at, are set out in our letter of engagement.

In addition to our fee plus GST (if any) you are also responsible to pay any other charges or disbursements we incur, including as applicable the fees of any barrister or other professional instructed by us to act on your behalf, the total amount being referred to as our “account”.

3. Estimate Of Costs

Where requested we will provide an estimate of legal costs. Please note that this is not a quote.

Many legal matters are complex and necessarily involve other people with consequential unpredictability. Accordingly, from time to time we may review our instructions, our estimate of legal costs and the amount of any advance on account of costs.

4. How You Pay

We will send to you an account upon the completion of the work or on termination of our retainer but may also during the course of completing the work send you interim accounts.
We may ask you to pay to us an advance on account of fees and/or other charges yet to be incurred. Where a request for an advance on account of fees is made we will not carry out work (or instruct others to carry out work) for you until this is paid to us in cleared funds.

Our account is payable upon issue. Payment of accounts forwarded to you may be taken by deduction from any advance on account of fees which you have paid to us or any other money that we may be holding in trust on your behalf and you irrevocably authorise us to make such deductions.

If our account is not paid by deduction you will pay our account no later than seven (7) days following its date of issue.
If you do not pay within seven (7) days we may -

a) Charge you interest at 20% per annum calculated on a daily basis on the outstanding balance of the debt from the day our account was first due, until payment in full is made; and/or

b) Charge you the cost of recovery or attempted recovery of any outstanding debt owed to us; and/or

c) Stop doing further legal work for you.

d) Generally for work relating to residential, industrial and commercial property sales, purchases and refinancing we will forward an account to you before settlement. We expect to have our account paid by deduction at the time of settlement. Any shortfall will need to be paid to us in cleared funds before we will complete settlement. Where there are delayed settlement dates or difficulties with the transaction then we may send an interim account.

If we are holding significant funds on your behalf pending completion of a matter, we may lodge those funds on interest bearing deposit with our bank on your behalf. We will charge an administration fee of 7% of the interest earned. This fee will be automatically deducted from the net interest earned when the funds are released from interest bearing deposit.

5. Our Responsibility

We will keep you informed of the work we are carrying out for you and will carry that work out to a proper and professional standard.

6. Information We Need To Know

You agree to provide us, and authorise us to collect from third parties, any information that we may reasonably require to carry out your instructions and to meet our statutory obligations. You are responsible for the accuracy of any information provided to us by you and have the right to access and correct your personal information.

Your failure to supply information may affect our ability to carry out your instructions.

8. Duration Of These Terms

These Terms and Conditions may be amended by us from time to time. Once accepted by you these Terms and Conditions will apply to all future legal work carried out by us for you.

9. Termination And Lien

You may terminate our retainer at any time. If our retainer is terminated you must pay us all fees due up to the date of termination and all expenses incurred up to that date. We reserve the right to exercise a lien to retain all original documents and correspondence on your file until such time as our outstanding accounts have been paid by you. If you have instructed another firm, any lien we hold over your file will be released upon our receipt of that firm’s undertaking to pay our outstanding accounts.

10. Acceptance Of These Terms And Conditions

You agree to accept the above Terms and Conditions if you instruct us to act for you after having received notice of this document and/or you return to us the signed acknowledgement below and/or you orally advise us of your acceptance.

11. Governing Law

All matters arising from this retainer will be governed by the Laws of New Zealand and be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the New Zealand Courts sitting nearest to our offices.

All Artwork Courtesy of Ross Jones. Visit jonesthepainter.com to view his full collection.